How to Start an Abstract Painting

How do you begin an abstract painting, especially a really large one?


First of all, everyone begins in a different way.


Some people start with an idea in mind, while others begin with nothing in mind, and some do a combination of those two.


After many years of painting I have found a way to begin that works well for me, which I am going to demonstrate in the short video today.


Because many artist are afraid to paint large, I specifically chose a large 5x7’ painting hoping it may ease your fears.

Because today’s video is my beginning process and I do not explain it while you watch me paint, I will briefly explain what you’re going to see.

Step one is always covering the canvas in a dark color. I believe this gives the painting a depth I can’t get otherwise.

Step two: While the dark color is still wet I add new colors on so there is a wet-on-wet effect.

Step three: I begin to add either large blocks of color or, in a neutral painting, which this one is, I begin using unconventional tools to draw shapes and marks using black.

Step four: I use a different color to add different shapes and marks.

Step five: I stand back to see what the painting looks like and from there I get an idea of what I want to do next.

My hope is that after watching today’s video, you get some inspiration and some ideas for starting your next painting.

To view the video, click here or on the image below.

Oh, one more thing, don’t let a huge size canvas scare you. I find it’s actually easier to paint than a smaller one.

Adele SypesteynComment